A few days ago, one of the most startling observations about West Indies cricket came as part of a submission of which none other than Brian Lara was a member. A detailed committee report examining the problems associated with Caribbean Cricket highlighted what could only be called a plight.
It suggested that the West Indies Cricket could soon cease to exist given the way existing players were targeting foreign franchise-based leagues in order to rise to a position of financial strength thereby ignoring or leaving behind the national interest.
That there isn’t much being currently done in the name of developing Cricket in the West Indies was identified as one of the huge problems that leaves behind a gaping void in their sport; the lack of interest on the part of the administrators, authorities, perhaps selectors even has led their cricket to a place where the youngsters coming in perhaps dream of finding a place in an IPL first instead of cementing their position in the national side that wears the burgundy colours.
But while this has been definitely true for the men’s cricket, perhaps it also ought to be addressed that a similar fate could also meet the women’s game given just how defunct or quite simply, incapable it seems of pure competitiveness.
It was something that was highlighted given the recent string of lows the Hayley Matthews-led West Indies women’s cricket side experienced whilst competing in the tri-series that featured India and South Africa.
Truth be told, if anyone wanted to get a vague idea of just how badly the West Indies women’s side performed, then perhaps looking at their second and fourth match scorecards would’ve given some idea.
Not once, whether in the 2nd game or the 4th, did the Windies women touch 100, the bare minimum score one expects a team to put forth in a T20 international.
Chasing 142 for a win in the 2nd game of the series, the West Indies Women’s team made no more than 97 and in the fourth contest, also against the Proteas women, the team made the exact same score, albeit losing six wickets to touch that paltry sum.
On each occasion, however, it was skipper Hayley Matthews who turned up with the highest score by a West Indian batter.
As for the rest, whether Britney Cooper or Shemaine Campbelle, quite simply failed to fire.
Surely, there have been talks that the current team that just didn’t put up a fight or anything close to being considered one desperately missed a Chinelle Henry or Chedean Nation in the ranks. Both players are capable of clearing the boundary ropes without much ado.
But at the end of the day, you got to stick to your strengths and make the most of what you have.
Yet, that none in the playing eleven were able to fight it out except the skipper has turned the deflated West Indies Women’s side into a somber outfit and the Barbadian captain has had a few key observations to make, none of which can be ruled out:
People like Chinelle Henry, who we usually have in the lower middle order that are capable of hitting the ball out of the park and even Chedean Nation, who played today but just hasn’t been able to get going just yet. So yeah, it’s the same story all around.”We need to improve from the top right down to the bottom of our batting line-up in the way that we are playing at the moment. It’s pretty clear we are not being able to put big enough partnerships. At the same time we have a lot of injuries with key batters out.”
That being said, Matthews also lamented the fact that different combinations tried in the series didn’t help the team a bit, adding without much hesitation, “At the moment we are trying players and we’re giving players the opportunity to grab that opening spot. Britney Cooper didn’t look that bad out there today, so hopefully she’s the one that can come out there and really produce [what we need]. The [T20] World Cup is the main goal for us and we are trying out different options to see what fits best.”